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Carpooling Restrictions At Manhattan-Bound Bridges And Tunnels Lifted Friday Afternoon

A New York City Police Officer watches for cars that do not have the required 3 or more passengers from entering the Manhattan Bridge from the BQE Expressway on November 1, 2012. (credit: Beth Keiser/Getty Images)

A New York City Police Officer watches for cars that do not have the required 3 or more passengers from entering the Manhattan Bridge from the BQE Expressway on November 1, 2012. (credit: Beth Keiser/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg has lifted carpooling restrictions at Manhattan-bound bridges and tunnels.

The HOV regulations ended at 5 p.m. Friday.

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Bloomberg said he doesn’t expect to put the rules in place on Monday.

“Although, if the city is so clogged the way it was last Wednesday where even emergency vehicles couldn’t get around we will reinstitute these,” Bloomberg said. “They did make a very big difference. Even though they do impact and inconvenience a lot of people, safety once again is the most powerful thing and the most important thing to us.”

Vehicles entering Manhattan by the four East River bridges, Triborough and Henry Hudson bridges, and the Lincoln Tunnel have been required to have three or more passengers.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

The HOV restrictions were also rescinded on the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge, Friday at 5 p.m., the DOT announced. Additional changes and updates to the transportation response will be issued as necessary.

Alternate Side Parking regulations will be suspended on Saturday Nov. 3. All other parking regulations remain in effect.

The passenger limitations did not apply to the George Washington Bridge or to the smaller East River and Harlem River bridges, such as the Willis Avenue Bridge or Macombs Dam Bridge.

Taxis, liveries and “black cars” were exempt from the rules.

The restrictions led to a chaotic commute on Thursday with many drivers apparently unaware of the minimum passenger mandate.

Traffic was backed up as much as 10 miles in some places after police set up check points to enforce the HOV rules.

Traffic was a bit lighter and flowed somewhat better during Friday morning’s rush hour.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued the restriction Wednesday to reduce the number of cars coming into the borough.